Eco-Friendly Ideas to Recycle Old Electronics

Photo By David Morris

Photo By David Morris

Most of us have a bunch of unused gadgets laying around, whether they no longer work or are simply out-of-date. Much of the time, we don’t properly dispose of old phones or other electronic devices every time we upgrade. Maybe it’s the fear of not having a backup, but let’s face it, we’re probably not going to use that old flip phone from 2008 anymore. According to DoSomething.org, between 80-85% of electronic devices were discarded in landfills or incinerators, which can release toxins into the air. Instead of throwing away used electronics, there are several eco-friendly alternatives to consider.

 

Donate to Nonprofits/Charities

Cross off your good deed for the day and get those unused electronics off your hands. Donating to charities or nonprofits is a great way to know your old gadgets are being put to good use. You can drop off old tvs, computers and other electronics at Donation Centers for stores like Goodwill and the Salvation Army. There are tons of good charities to donate those old cell phones to as well. Cell Phones for Soldiers, which provides soldiers a cost-free way to call home from wherever they may be stationed, and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, which uses the proceeds from the sale of refurbished phones to support programs to end domestic violence, are just two great organizations to choose from.

Sell or Trade-In

If you want to take the for-profit route, you can always sell or trade-in your old electronic devices. Most electronic companies offer trade-in programs for rebates on newer products or gift cards to the store. For example, Amazon has a trade-in program that offers you Amazon gift cards in exchange for your eligible electronics. Other companies offer cash for your used electronics. Glyde in a marketplace for selling used phones, tablets, games and more, and it compares what you will get on their site with other competitors such as Gazelle, Amazon and Apple. They will even sell the broken phones you no longer have a use for

Repurposing for DIY Projects

Why not give those unused gadgets new life by using them differently than what they were made for. There a lot of cool DIY ideas for repurposing old electronics into useful products for the home. Sites like Pinterest have more ideas than you’ll know what to do with.  These ideas from Mashable may be just what you need to get you started with a new project.

Next time you upgrade your electronic devices, take this eco-friendly advice to heart and remember to recycle or repurpose them instead of throwing them away!

 

Facebook and Skype Editing Tricks

Today, I am going to share with you some editing “secrets” that you might not know about on Facebook and Skype. These editing tips not only allows you to fix typos, but also customize the right message you want your users to read.

Facebook Post Editing

If you are adding a link to your status update you have the ability to change the thumbnail image as well as the title and description that appears, once Facebook pulls up the original information.

Once you add the link into the blank status field, you will be able to edit any of the areas pointed by the arrows. The green arrows shows where you can click and see other options of thumbnails images. If you don’t like any of the thumbnails suggestions follow the purple arrow. By clicking on “Upload Image” you will be able to pick an image from your drive.

The yellow arrow is showing the title of the blog in bold letters. Once you click on it you will be write any calling to action message. The red arrow enables you to edit the description of the title. You can change it completely or just make any adjustments.

Once you are done, feel free to remove the URL you pasted and write your status post! These changes are very helpful when you are developing the right copy and when you are trying share the right message. Remember, you do not want to include everything on the status messages because they are suppose to be brief and concise.

Skype Message Editing

Skype users might not know, but you can actually edit the messages you send on a chat. It’s very common for people to make more mistakes writing on a chat window compared to an e-mail because your primary intention is to just keep the conversation going in a faster pace.

If you hover your mouse next to the time, you will see a drop down arrow. Once you click on it a the drop down will allow you to copy, quote, edit, remove and jump back in the history of the conversation you had with the other user.

Once you click “Edit Message” a screen will pop up and you can make the changes right there and then. See image below:

After you click “Save” you are all set! The other user will know however that you edit the message by the indication of the little pencil next to the time.

This handy feature is great especially if you don’t want any misinterpretation in a conversation, and Skype has been used more and more often by digital marketing agencies to communicate with its clients.

I hope you find these tips useful!

 

Gmail introduces tabs!

Keeping your e-mail organized is challenge for many people. Recently Gmail has create tabs that allows us to separate the emails in five different categories: Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates and Forums.

The new navigation layout makes your inbox more functional based on the relevance of the content of your incoming message. This is how Gmail divided up its five tabs to make it easier for users to view and organized their emails using categories.

Meet the Five Tabs!

  1. Primary: In this tab you will receive messages from your family and friends, work and other  message that would not fit into the categories below.

  2. Social: This categories it is focused on the messages and notifications you might receive from other social platforms and networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

  3. Promotions: This tab is designed for you to receive offers, deals and other promotional materials that you have signed up for.

  4. Updates: In this tab you will get notifications such as bank statements and receipts.

  5. Forums: This tab is designed specifically for messages from discussion boards, online groups and mailing lists you have subscribed to. Since categories might not be relevant to every person, Gmail allows users to customize which tabs shows up on their dashboard by clicking on the “+” sign.

Directing E-mails

If you receive an update that might going to your Primary tab, don’t worry! It is possible to move emails from specific senders into the exactly tabs you want. To do this, you should right-click on an email located under the incorrect tab heading. Then you chose the “Move to tab” option, then pick the tab of your preference. A shortcut to this tip is to simply drag and drop the messages you want.

Gmail_Move

Not ready for the change?

If for some reason you don’t like the layout and design, or you simply just want to use the old format, it is possible to revert back. All you need to do is click again the “+” icon to the right of the tab and uncheck every box (except the “Primary”) and you are done! If you want the tabs again, just click on “Settings” (gear icon) and select “Configure inbox”, it’s that simple!

Gmail_PlusSign
I still wish we could rename or create our own tabs, but I can’t deny that this new layout will make people’s lives much easier. So check out your current gmail account or create a gmail www.gmail.com. I hope you find these tips helpful and now you can make your e-mail a lot more organized and tailored to your needs.

Do you know how to write for social media?

Today, I want to talk about copywriting! In college, students are exposed to many different courses to enroll in. As an intern at Ingenex Digital Marketing, I have the opportunity to put in practice my skills and knowledge from college but it is also opening up my eyes about other courses I should have taken before graduating.

Like the majority of the students, everyone had to take a writing class, but in the field of advertising it is very important to have sharp copywriting skills. I learned copywriting through my past and current work experience, but if you have a chance to take courses beforehand, do it! By taking a copywriting course these skills are transferable to many other jobs and in the field of advertising it will make you look professional.

by MDGovpics

by MDGovpics

Sending tweets and posting tons of statuses on Facebook does not make you a social media expert. There are many guidelines to follow when writing for social media. In copywriting for social media, the voice, language and tone varies from one platform to another, from brand to brand and other aspects in between.

In the advertising and digital marketing industry, creativity is the soul of successful campaigns. Copywriters need to be flexible, creative and quick in their feet, especially in the field of social media, as there are constant changes and rapid communication in the online communities.

“Copywriting for social media is an interesting and deep topic because there are so many different channels, mechanisms and purposes. It’s almost like you have to learn a separate business … there’s the ad business … there’s PR … there’s social. Each slightly different.” said social media expert, Jason Falls.

With so many mediums like Twitter, Facebook, the ultimate goal is for your audience to click and respond your online message. Communication on social media outlet is a two-way channel if not more, this one of the reasons it is crucial to be human when crafting your message.

To be a well rounded copywriter, I encourage you to learn about the techniques and practices of copywriting for SEO and learn about the importance and value of keywords as they will play a major role in allowing your website to show up on search results.

I also recommend the New Media Drivers Licence course. This course gave me a competitive advantage when applying for jobs and internships. Best of luck and if you have any questions, feel free to contact me!

WordPress Job Available At Ingenex

Ingenex Digital Marketing is looking to hire a WordPress Developer! Ingenex is a result driven digital marketing agency that has clients across the United States and Canada. Derek Mehraban, Ingenex CEO and your potential boss, is looking for an employee who is creative and understands web design thoroughly. “I want my clients to get the latest and greatest of everything,” Mehraban stated. This means you have to be able to create the latest designs and implement them into a WordPress CMS.

photo2

Not only must you be a WordPress professional, but Mehraban is looking for an employee who has quality personal traits. “We are looking to hire someone who is hardworking, pays attention to detail, accurate, fun to be around and always delivers above and beyond,” Mehraban says.

“I want a coworker who is driven, passionate about work and dedicated to staying current on new digital trends,” Content Manager Ashlie Forchione said. In the world of digital marketing, trends are always changing so it is important to evolve with technology. Clients need to be provided with the latest and greatest forms of technology, and that improves what you can provide as a WordPress Developer.

Is Ingenex the right company for you? When asked about working at Ingenex  Social Media Coordinator Lauren Schneider said, “My favorite part about working at Ingenex is having the ability and opportunity to have your voice count. You aren’t just part of a mix, you will have your area of expertise and your work will be noticed.”

The Ann Arbor branch of Ingenex is located on Main Street, and will soon be moving to a new location in Downtown Ann Arbor within the month. “At the Ann Arbor location, we can appreciate what the city has to offer to the agency with the fun environment. It has always been my dream to work in Downtown Ann Arbor” Content Producer Erin O’Neill said.

Nervous about the potential interview? Here are some wise words of advice from current Ingenex employees:

“Don’t forget to smile!” — Forchione

“Be yourself and don’t be afraid!” — Schneider

“Be prepared to talk about your work. Come in with example pieces.” — O’Neill

To find more information about the position please visit:

Are you safe online?

Millions of Americans go online everyday and don’t realized how vulnerable their information can be due to the lack of security of some websites, an increasing number of phishing scams and the lack of control from their private settings.

Last year 12 millions Americans fell victim to the fraud and had their identities stolen. Today we are going to give a few quick tips on how to protect yourself from these cyber crimes. Social Media became one of the favorites “playground” for thieves and malicious virus to steal your personal information.

by FutUndBeidl

by FutUndBeidl

1. Passwords: When is the last time you changed your password? This is a very basic but important step to take but it is important change your password from time to time. Some websites allow you to see if the password you are entering is harder to crack, by stating if it is “strong” or “very strong”. Don’t make them simple like your pet’s name or “123”, but if the website allows you to include numbers, capital letter and symbols, do it! Make sure your password is “strong”, “very strong”; “very good” or “excellent”. Cyber thieves can easily identify your password if you ever made it public. On this note make sure the privacy settings on your social networks are well secure.

2. Emails: NEVER email your credit card number or Social Security number to anyone. Malicious hackers are always looking for this crucial information once they get into your account. Be very careful opening attachments and downloading files, even if you know the source.

3. Online banking: The same way you check your e-mail on a daily basis, you should monitor the activity of your debt and credit cards for any suspicious transactions. If you feel, that your account was compromised and you had your information stolen, contact your bank immediately. It is also recommended that online, you should use credit cards instead of debit cards, since debit cards do not have as a strong protection against fraud compared to credit. You also should contact your bank and ask if they have free software to protect your online banking.

4. Wireless connections: If you have a wireless router at home, make sure to make it secure by including a password, this way a third party won’t be able to access your signal connection. Some people also enable the encryption to scramble the information you send back and forth online.

To learn more about other steps you can take in case your information is stolen, click here. It is very important to share this information with your friends and family members as some of them might have your personal information stored in their computers as well. Keep an eye out and stay safe!

 

Facebook and your job search.

Would you ever use a Facebook job search platform? For a while now its been rumored that Facebook is considering starting their own job search platform, but I doubt many people would use it. Especially when a professional networking site already exists, LinkedIn, and you can already search for jobs on there. Most people should keep their Facebook profile completely separated from their job search; unless, of course, you’re applying for a job at social media agency or digital marketing firm. If this is the case, keep it appropriate because many employers use Facebook to look up job candidates for reasons why they shouldn’t hire them.

If you think your Facebook profile is hurting your chances of being hired for a job you have two options. First option, you can censor what pictures you allow yourself to be tagged in and what friends can post on your wall through your privacy settings. On top of that, make sure you’re not posting anything inappropriate or too political; if you’re friends with your grandma on Facebook then you’re probably good. Second option, you can leave your profile the same and make it completely private. In your privacy settings profiles can be made searchable and unable to view by anyone who is not a “friend”.

LinkedIn is your best bet for professional networking, but take the precautions stated above. If a potential employer decides to search you online you don’t want them to see or read anything that could hinder your chances of being hired.

Commute, Don’t Pollute

The most common tip for “being green” is to carpool or take some sort of public transit to work. There are lots of obvious benefits – saving gas (a savings of roughly 223 gallons per year, or $865 at Ann Arbor’s gas prices today – 3.88/gallon), paying less for car maintenance, and reducing your carbon footprint by 4800 pounds of CO2 per year! (Source: GreenPerl)

I’ve been greening up my commute since I began the eco-friendly internship, and so far, it’s been a pretty wonderful experience. Ann Arbor is very fortunate to have the Ann Arbor Transit Authority, the local bus system, which is, for a smaller city like ours, very thoughtfully planned, thorough, and easy to navigate. There are stops almost everywhere around Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, and you can go almost everywhere; both universities, both downtowns, and lots of shopping and recreation.

There are a few other benefits, too. I drive a lot to my other job, but I notice driving is stressful, especially around rush hour. When I take The Ride downtown, I don’t have to worry about fighting Ann Arbor rush hour traffic or the sometimes-confusing one-way streets, and where I can and can’t park.

And speaking of parking, not having to figure out where the cheapest parking is or how much it costs is a big plus. I’m told there is a $4-per-day lot somewhere, but if it happens to be out, I’d have to pay 1.50/hr in most of the lots, even more in the decks!

AATA lets me enjoy the commute to work (and have more time to beat Angry Birds…) instead of stressing out on my commute. Plus, it’s cheaper, and most importantly, greener.

We’re Eco Friendly and Going Green

Two years ago, I thought recycling was for scrubs and hippies. Then I moved to Ann Arbor and started school.  Between them both, I had no chance. Ann Arbor recently implemented sustainability framework containing sixteen goals to make the city more eco friendly, while the University of Michigan has an extremely active campaign to become an eco friendly and sustainable campus.

The university’s PlanetBlue campaign includes new solar powered, hybrid buses and vehicles and a recycling program in The Big House, which is the largest of any stadium in the country. President Mary Sue Coleman approved a $14 million dollar budget in 2011, to make the University of Michigan campus more sustainable and eco friendly by 2025.

A new academic minor in sustainability has been approved in the Program in the Environment Department. New ways to help the environment are being developed daily and more and more campus groups are banding together to make our campus and city more sustainable and eco friendly.

Although I’ve learned a lot of eco friendly habits from my peers, my short time as an Ingenex intern has really emphasized the importance of being diligent in changing some of my continuing ‘bad’ habits. I’ve learned multiple eco friendly tips, the importance of green roofing and how the continuing transition to digital marketing saves paper and resources. So next time you get ready to throw away a plastic water bottle or print a seventeen page article that you won’t read for class anyway, think about what you are doing to the environment. After all, Earth is the only home we have. Why not save it?

Be Aware of Spokeo The Creepiest Social Media Aggregator!


No it is not Halloween but this website is so darn spooky I had to bring it up on the blog. It is called Spokeo and it is online white pages. This website is a stalkers dream come true.  I am not kidding. Spookeo aggregates information from your social media websites. Everything you include on your social networking sites is recorded and aggregated by Spokeo such as phone numbers, email, descriptions, locations etc. Then the important stuff Spokeo finds to help locate/describe you is compiled into a Spokeo page under your name. Even the images of your parents House (and current house) along with a very detailed map are conveniently provided by Google (THANKS) and displayed to the stalker that  searches you courtesy of Spokeo.  So here is how it works. The stalker enters a persons name or email address to locate whom they please. So for example a stalker could pull a name of a famous person, or a random person from say… A student directory, a website, or even a Facebook page. Then all they have to do is simply type it in and if they have an idea of what state the person they are stalking is located in, it is game over. IT GETS CREEPIER THAN THAT.

I Searched my name “Sean Schwartz” and Clicked Michigan. In seconds I found my Mothers house address, along with the value of the house, a picture, a map to the house, address, phone number, siblings & parents (with similar information), relationship status, age, hobbies, social profiles ETC.  Needless to say I am glad I Googled my name but should you find yourself on this website and trust me you are, immediately go to www.spokeo.com/privacy and get yourself off there.